Fall is slowly but surely rolling in, and I’m excited to start cooking with fall meats. Number one on my list: pork sausage. I love sausage at any time of year, but its substance and spiciness is particularly fitting for the autumn chill. This sausage tart is supplemented with a hearty serving of collard greens and earthy mushrooms.
Collards are one of my favorite leafy greens; they’re filling, full of vitamins and versatile (though I particularly like them in a stew). Though they are tastier and more robust in the coldest months of the year, they are available year-round.
A few more eggs would make this tart a quiche, but I didn’t want to detract too much from the sausage and greens. Adding ricotta, or another soft cheese like goat or feta, gives the filling a fluffy texture. I used sweet Italian sausage with fennel, but added cayenne pepper to give the tart some heat – it would also be delicious using hot sausage. Pair with a light salad and a glass of crisp white wine for a perfect autumn dinner.
- 11/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 stick unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
- 4 tbsp ice water
- Pinch of salt
- 3 links Italian pork sausage, with casings removed
- 1 large bunch collard greens, washed and coarsely chopped
- 11/2 cups sliced crimini mushrooms
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup diluted apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup fresh ricotta
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
- 2 tbsp Parmesan cheese
To Make Tart Crust:
1. In a food processor, combine the flour, salt and butter. Pulse until ingredients are blended and butter is pea-sized. Drizzle the water in slowly, continuing to pulse until the dough sticks together when pressed. Press the dough into a disc. Chill for 30 minutes wrapped in plastic wrap.
2. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and place on a lightly floured surface. Roll dough into a 12-inch circle and place in a 10-inch tart pan. Cover with parchment paper or foil and fill with pie weights or dried beans.
3. Bake in a 400º oven for 20 minutes, then remove parchment and weights and bake for another 5 minutes until the crust starts to brown. Remove from the oven and let cool.
To Make Pie:
1. Heat the oil and butter in a pan. Add the mushrooms, onions and garlic and cook over medium heat until the mushrooms are cooked and the onions are translucent. Season with salt and pepper and set aside in a bowl.
2. Add the sausage to the pan and break into small pieces with a spatula. Sprinkle in some cayenne pepper if you like your sausage spicy. Brown sausage on all sides then add to the bowl with the mushrooms and onions.
3. Add the collard greens to the pan. Pour the apple cider vinegar over, scraping any leftover bits. Cover the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes until collard greens are wilted. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Toss the collard greens with the sausage, onions and mushrooms. Let cool for a few minutes. Then add the egg and ricotta, stirring until well mixed.
5. Spoon the tart filling into the cooked shell and sprinkle Parmesan on top. Bake at 400Âº for 17-20 minutes until the filling is set. Cool slightly and serve with a green salad with citrus dressing.